various and sundry

I didn’t go to the Zumba class the second week, but not because of my ex-therapist. Because of a migraine. I did go last week, and she was still there. Must try harder to scare her off.

We took Hecate to the vet in June for a checkup, flea meds, de-worming and vaccine update. She cried in the car on the way there, refused to leave her carrier at the visit, and pooped in her cat-carrier on the drive home. This month, when we took her back for some booster shots, she repeated the ritual. I don’t like this ritual, especially the pooping in the car. We really need to find a more local vet, but our section of Heidelberg has mostly dentists.

I’ve been doing monthly fitness challenges on Facebook and now I can do like 10 pushups in a row. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I grew lettuce! On the balcony! And we ate it and didn’t die! I feel like a total Earth Mother now. Let’s see what the tomatoes do…

Song du jour of the day: Let’s Get Loud, by JLo at the Women’s World Cup! Because football starts again tomorrow and yay. (Yes it’s a different kind of football. No I don’t care.)


one of the reasons public transit sucks…

… is that, when you use it to get to a Zumba class that you’re trying for the first time, and your ex-therapist walks in? That moment when you can bang your head gently against your steering wheel while intoning “oh god, oh no, oh god, oh no” is delayed for much too long. And the bus driver probably won’t let you use his steering wheel, even if you could explain why you needed it in Pfälzisch.

But I did enjoy the Zumba class. But I’m not sure if I can go back. Maybe I will go back. But I will definitely take the car.

Song du jour of the day: Running Up That Hill, by Placebo

 


kitty update

Hecate Moonbeam Aveline Nightwalker Spookypants has emerged from the basement and apparently decided that all our purple throw pillows are belong to her. She looks very picturesque on them, though good pictures do not yet abound, due to crappy celephone camera and poor light. She will sit on your lap and submit to head skritchles if you hold still long enough, so that’s progress, but she still bolts at any sudden move (and we are a family of poor impulse control, oops). As her third name indicates, she is still nocturnal, and has been meowing me awake aroud 5 a.m. for the last three days. This was bearable during the long weekend, but I expect it’ll be harder to cope with when I have to do things like go to work. Still and all, I am pleased that she has calmed down a bit. We want her to be happy here.

(Edited to add photo)

(Edited to add photo)

Song du jour of the day: Hold on to You, by Madrugada


new cat, not the same as the old cat

Oh, right, here’s a Thing that’s been happening. Um, well, you know Lilu died at the end of January and it was horrid and I grieved (and still do). I am croggled: how does the loss of an 8-pound cat make our gigantic house seem so empty?

So in April I started campaigning for a cat from the local shelter. I didn’t want to raise another cat from infancy – turns out you get too attached when you do that, and besides, shelter cats need rescuing. After considerable debate (A Certain Husband may have changed his mind a few more times than was strictly necessary) we settled on a black foundling named Mona. She still needed to be fixed (the pound is very against unnecessary kittens) and vaccinated and given ID-tattoos (badass pirate kitty). Then she needed 10 days to recover, and someone from the pound visited our house to make sure we know what we’re getting into and we’re not living in filth or buying cats to feed to our alligators or something, and then on Friday we got to take her home and change her name – because srsly, James Taylor wrote a song about a pig named Mona and that’s a song virus I can live without. Now she has to live inside and poop in a box for six weeks, and then we can let her out.

Maybe.  Continue reading


Extispicy!

… is the practice of reading the future in animal guts. The Babylonians did it, and so did the Etruscans, who passed the practice on to the Romans. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but in my head it sounds like “extra spicy!”

Working in academia –> awesome factoids.

Song du jour of the day: Love Train, by the O jays!


dingsbumsheim

Back when the Oompahs visited, we took a boat tour up the river to Neckarsteinach (a four-castle town!), and in passing the tour-guide voice on the PA pointed out a walled town on top of a nearby “mountain” (yeah, about that: I’m a former resident of the Far West, so for me, if it doesn’t have snow on it year-round, it’s not a real mountain. But people from Back East will persist in their little delusions and I’ve found it convenient to play along most of the time) that has never been conquered ever, he said.

About 6 weeks  ago, on a sunny Saturday, DrBob and I decided another mini road trip was in order, so we decided to check this place out. I can well believe it was never conquered, as we had a helluva time finding it. There might have been signs, but we couldn’t remember the name of the place, so they wouldn’t have helped. We kept seeing it on the other side of the river, but couldn’t figure out how to get across.

Eventually we came across a tee-tiny ferry which, HILARIOUS! Because for me, this is a ferry.  The thing we rode across the river was more like… a toy. Of course I was all a-squee, and spent a fair bit of time amusing myself with the notion of an invading army having to rely on this means of transport.ferry1

So thanks to tiny toy ferry, we did eventually find the town – Dilsberg is its terribly forgettable name – and we did our usual tourist thing: wander around, drink some coffee, leave.

Song du jour of the day: Mermaid, by Yuna.


Mallorca the second

… day, that is. The second day. Another unexpectedly long drive out to Cap de Formentor, because of me and the edge of the world. This is the northeasterlymost point on the island and the road is very long and curvy and you drive about three times the distance that a crow would fly, frequently getting stuck behind struggling cyclists. Mallorca is apparently veeeery popular with cyclists. Anyway.

lightouse2

The lighthouse is blurry because it is inside a CLOUD.

cloudvalley6

The clouds are BELOW us. Wow.

cloudvalley5

That valley? Is full of CLOUD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a long drive, but really really worth it. All pine forests and lonely stretches of road, very soothing since we’d driven up the east coast through the Tourist Zoo towns to get there.

After Cap de Formentor we went to Pollença, which I really liked, though we didn’t stay long, just for lunch. Here’s a Plaça, don’t know if it was the Plaça Major or another one:

plazapollenca

Not really special, just… nice. Cool and leafy and pretty and pleasant. There’d been a Roman settlement nearby called Pollentia, said the guidebook, but we didn’t find it until we drove to Alcúdia, closer to the coast. Also nice, when we were there, but it’s clearly been shinied up for the tourists, which weren’t due till the following week (i.e., now). Which I guess is why the Roman ruins were closed and we couldn’t get in to see them. Oh well.

On the third day we went to Artà, where we climbed a bunch oralcudia2f stairs to a churchurchalcudiach and a swell view. Nice little artsy-type place, they have a much-hyped market to which the hotel organized bus tours. We arrived just as the market was closing, which was a good thing because there were no crowds and the stallholders were too busy shutting down to hustle us. Except for a guy who sold DrBob a leather bag, but that’s okay. He’s been using it every day since.

Cala Ratjada seems to be the port/beach part of Artà. This is another place that I think we liked because it wasn’t tourist season yet – very nice waterfront promenade that is probably a lot less nice when it’s awash in sunburns and flip-flops. But on that day, it was peaceful and charming and I took pictures of boats.

And on the last day we had an 8pm flight, so we decided to take the long way back to Palma and stop in Cala Figuera, which is where DrBob really fell in love. Many adorable houses and boats and possible some kind of built-into-the-cliff stuff on the other side of the bay which we should’ve checked out, but we wanted to leave ourselves sufficient time in Palma. But I have a hunch we’ll be back. He’s still talking about it.

figuera4figuera3
figuera2
figuera

 

 

 

 

 

Aaand then we drove to Palma and did the City Thing. You know how cities are, especially the old ones, it’s hard to back up enough to get a good shot of anything, so it’s probably better just to buy the postcards. The professional photogs can at least get the tourists to clear off for a minute.

So yeah. It was mostly a lovely relaxing trip, except for the bit where we left the kids at home to fend for themselves and despite their many assurances, they both overslept on Monday so one of them was late to school and the other didn’t go at all that day, so after that I had to get up at 7 every morning to call them and make sure they got out of bed. Even that wasn’t all bad: it allowed me to see this.

sunrise

Song du jour of the day: Forget What I Said, by Noora Noor. Never heard of it before, but YouTube recommended it.


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